So it seems that new is the new old, and old is the new new? Get it. Right then…

You cant even the turn the pages of the latest Vogue or Harpers without being bombarded with the word vintage and with the recession every deepening and the complete boredom of high street shopping enough to want to hang yourself with your Primark (or is it Pri-mucci) leggings. So jump on board. Just about everyone from Kyoto to Potters Barr LOVES vintage!

I have always been a bit of a second hand queen as the result of growing up the eldest sister and raised by my single mother on her income of pennies. She taught me how to “skip shop” as she liked to call it, trawl the charity shops and flea markets and rummage through other peoples unwanted treasures. We would even pretend to my little brother and sister that we were pirates hunting for treasure to get them involved. As such I have filled my wardrobe with vintage one off pieces and have items that I dearly treasure and believe most of my items unique and out of production. You definitely cannot say that about anything from a High Street Chain.

Charity shops and second hand stores still provide an abundance of great items, some may be in need of just a clean and others need some love and reworking but I visit several different places over a 4 week rotation period (to give them time to get new stock in) and travel nearly 20 miles on a monthly basis to visit my favorite in Middlesex (location to remain my secret) because it magically turns up gems, like my sample one off Christian Lacroix, tailored puff sleeve vintage jacket which I bought and dry cleaned for £8.00 and was valued at £700.00. I love it so much I can never sell it and intend to leave it as an heir loom for my as yet unborn daughter.

Flea Markets (or Boot fairs as we call them in England) and garage sales are where the ultimate bargains are to be found. But it is a serious business if you want to find something great and possibly of value, whether it be personal value of financial. There are “professional” vintage hunters out there and they are vicious! So get up early, go alone so you can focus, take a large wheelie trolley (yes like a grandma’s one), lots of cash, preferably in a bum bag because you don’t want a handbag to get in your way or your wallet stolen and go go go.

You can also buy some great items of furniture at second hand furniture warehouses. Search locally and check stock regularly if you want to find some great pieces but be prepared to do some refurbishment work. It will pay off in the end.

“Skip Shopping” as my family call it basically is as described. You see a skip, stop walking or driving past and have a peak inside to see if there is anything you fancy. Simples.

But please remember to ask permission before taking stuff out. Or if you’re too embarrassed just drive back under the cover of darkness and pillage at will. And if you don’t believe me please take a look at this article from a respected British Newspaper!

http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/blog/2009/sep/24/taking-things-from-skips

The whole idea is that you need to have an open mind. Imagine what something COULD be, if you remove a few manky buttons or sanded and re painted or re upholstered.

As well as the financial advantages of shopping and recycling in this way you could just fill your life with lovely treasures, each with their own story to tell of how you found them and gave them love and made them beautiful. That is worth more than a quick swipe of the credit card and forgetting an item after a few weeks.

Be sure to keep checking in for updates on my own projects, tips and advice, ideas and insider secrets.

Lots of love, Sadie xx